SOM and MIT plan for interplanetary future with 'Moon Village' concept

by Andrew Manns | 12 Apr 2019
Moon Village is not a single project, nor a fixed plan with a defined time table. It's a vision for an open architecture and an international community initiative.
– Jan Woerner, director-general of the ESA

American architecture office Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have teamed up with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop the "Moon Village" project, the first full-time human habitat on the lunar surface.

According to the design team, the future settlement, which would be situated in the rim of Shackleton Crater near the Moon's South Pole, would comprise three to four-story inflatable structures, "with workspaces, living quarters, environmental controls, and life support systems."

Speaking on the initiative, Colin Koop, Design Partner at SOM, explained: "The project presents a completely new challenge for the field of architectural design."

Facilities would specifically be programmed to adapt to the moon's inhospitable conditions and would feature – among other innovations – water extraction devices to create fuel and breathable air, radiation-resistant outer coverings, and various solar energy apparatuses.

Initially proposed in 2015 by Jan Woerner, the ESA's director-general, Moon Village represents the organisation's desire to anticipate the long-term – potentially interplanetary – future.

In 2016, at the annual meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, Woerner and his colleagues from the ESA and the Moon Village Support Group described the lunar town as a unifying "political and inspirational endeavour" for the 21st century that "could stretch across disciplines and nations".

SOM  ESA  Moon Village  MIT 
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